Material intelligence as a driver for value creation in IoT-enabled business ecosystems

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Purpose – The purpose of the study is to identify and discuss the role of intelligent materials in the emergence of new business models based on the Internet of Things (IoT). The study suggests new areas for further research to better understand the influences of material intelligence on the business models in industry-wide service ecosystems.
Design/methodology/approach – The study uses data from an earlier study of intelligent materials in the steel industry networks. The insights are based on 34 qualitative interviews among 15 organizations in the industry. The data are reanalyzed for this article.
Findings – Our observations from the steel industry show how material intelligence can be harnessed for value creation in IoT-based business ecosystems. The results suggest that not all ‘things’ connected to the IoT need to be intelligent, if information related to the things are collected, stored, and shared for collaborative value creation among the actors involved in the business ecosystem.
Research limitations/implications – The study discusses how IoT deployments allow businesses to benefit from the velocity and variety of information associated with things and guides future research to study the ways in which value is created through IoT-enabled business models.
Practical implications – Rather than focusing on improving the efficiency of the supply network, the study presents new paths for competitive advantages in the new IoT ecosystems.
Originality/value – The study contributes to the mounting research on the IoT by identifying and discussing the critical aspects of how IoT can transform business models and supply networks within end-to-end ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-867
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Internet of Things
  • Business models
  • Intelligent materials
  • Closed-loop ecosystems

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